Intermittent fasting is one of the hottest and trendiest weight loss methods in the health and fitness community.
In a most basic definition, intermittent fasting occurs when you separate your day into two windows, one shorter window for consuming calories while the other window is strictly for fasting. One of the most common methodologies that employ intermittent fasting is the 16/8 protocol, 16 hours of not eating leaving the other 8 hours to fulfill your daily food requirements. This is vastly different from the majority of Americans whom snack and eat all day.
I decided to give intermittent fasting a try myself. I simply deleted breakfast from my daily meals, allocating my food intake from noon to 9 PM with the rest of the 13 hours fasted. After seeing the results, I decided to research everything involving intermittent fasting and the so called “most important meal of the day”.
Time to convince you to jump on the intermittent fasting bandwagon in this week’s blog post!
The Origins of Breakfast
When compared to lunch and dinner, breakfast is the newest meal of the bunch. Breakfast first started in the 1800s, and has been a classic American meal ever since.
The origins of breakfast dates back to one of the most popular breakfast foods ever…… cereal. The creator of cereal, James Caleb Jackson, and the Kellogg cereal brand owner, John Harvey Kellogg were behind the push for breakfast in order to increase cereal sales. They strategically marketed breakfast through a religious moral, tying it to a healthy lifestyle. Without a good breakfast, American’s couldn’t have a productive days’ worth of work, leading to the marketing campaign “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.
With the increase of more stagnant work, health fears started to kick-in during the early 1900s. The owner of Beech-Nut Packing Company reached out to the marketing guru, Edward Bernays, and took advantage of everyone’s’ fears. Bernays’ had his own doctor conclude that a heavy breakfast, one including bacon and eggs, was healthier than a lighter breakfast. After having 5,000 other doctors sign this statement, Bernays had newspapers publish this finding as if it were a scientific study. This gave off the connotation that bacon and eggs were medically recommended for breakfast.
What does breakfast have to do with intermittent fasting?
Intermittent Fasting History
Eating first thing in the morning has never been the norm until recently. Humans have never been animals to eat constantly throughout the day. In the short time period that humans have inhabited planet earth, fasting has been much more common than breakfast ever has been.
Intermittent fasting has been practiced for centuries worldwide, mainly for religious reasons. I’ve worked with Hindu individuals and they often fast for an entire day once a week. These people are not obese and live rather healthy lifestyles. They constantly brag about not having to worry about food for an entire day!
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Be honest with yourself. Are you actually hungry when you wake up in the morning?
If you aren’t, and most likely you aren’t, then there is absolutely no reason to eat. Bypassing breakfast is the easiest way to fast, and what most people do when they follow an intermittent fasted protocol.
The benefits of intermittent fasting speak for themselves. Since it’s relatively new, very few large scale human studies have been done. A majority of research has been concluded with small rodents, religious groups, and relatively small human sample sizes.
Most of the hype behind intermittent fasting comes from personal testimonies, which I’ve experienced and 100% agree with. These benefits include but aren’t limited to:
- Boost weight loss.
- Increase energy, especially during fasted periods.
- Reduce insulin resistance (great for preventing Type 2 diabetes).
- Lowers BAD cholesterol.
- Helps fight diseases.
- Improves memory and brain function during fasted periods.
There are two groups of individuals whom doctors recommend should avoid intermittent fasting completely. One being elite athletes. As an elite athlete, eating more frequently helps with recovery and overall athletic performance. Second, if you’re diabetic, hypoglycemic, or pregnant, breakfast is a must to maintain your glucose levels.
As far as my own personal opinion, I believe the best benefit to intermittent fasting is how your relationship with food will change for the better. It forces you to control urges to eat and become more discipline with your eating habits. No longer will food have control over your life.
Hope you all enjoyed this week’s blog post! I highly encourage everyone to give intermittent fasting a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain! Simply start by eliminating breakfast as one of your daily meals!
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“There’s a hidden sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness.”
Book of the Month: “Set for Life: Dominate Life, Money and The American Dream” by Scott Trench